How can the local church help worship leaders to flourish as shepherd-musicians?
This post is the final in a series I’ve written on the importance of worship leaders serving the local church as shepherd-musicians. I’ve tried to explain in these posts the crucial role that worship leaders have of serving their churches through shepherding their congregations and through excellent musicianship. Having described how I view the worship leader as shepherd here, and the worship leader as musician here, I now want to describe what this means for church leadership and the congregations that worship leaders serve.
Here are a few ways to help your worship leader thrive as a shepherd-musician:
- Expect your worship leader to be an artist.
I don’t mean a recording artist. I don’t mean a beret-wearing hipster. Your worship leader loves serving through music for a reason – and it’s probably because they are an artistically minded, creative person! Be okay with them thinking differently than the other pastors at your church. Allow them to express themselves differently than others in the way that they communicate, dress, and in the way that they lead others. Allow them to have space in their day to dream and to create. Expect them to lean towards aesthetics more than functionality. Foster an appreciation for creativity and aesthetic-mindedness in your worship leader! They have talents, abilities, and ways of thinking about things that others in your church leadership don’t have. Be the type of church where artistically-minded, creative Christians want to be – where they feel honored, empowered, and free to serve in the ways that God has designed them to serve. Your worship leader will thank you, and your church will better flourish too!
2. Expect your worship leader to be a theologian.
Theology is the study of God. We need worship leaders to be students of God and His Word. We’ve missed the mark if we expect worship leaders to be only artists. That would be setting the bar far too low. Worship leaders need to be lovers of God and the Gospel. We need creative-minded, artistically-driven people who have the ability to think well, and think rightly, about the things of God. Worship leaders should be held to high expectations in making sure that the songs sung, liturgy used, and calls to worship given during the church gathering are biblically accurate and theologically helpful. In other words, expect your worship leader to be a pastoral-minded theologian! Allow them time during the week to invest in people pastorally outside of music. Allow them to study, to learn, and to grow in their knowledge of the scriptures and theology. Set the bar high. Expect your worship leader to actually lead the church in these ways.
is that this post will help worship leaders and the churches that they serve to mutually thrive as individual members of one body (1 Cor. 12:27). Worship leaders have been gifted by God with unique talents to serve the Church! May our churches be bursting at the seams with worship leaders who are creative-minded, artistically-driven theologians – and may our church congregations help their worship leaders to thrive in their role!